Okay then, latest on this nightmare
I got the oil pan out and cleaned it up. What a mess! I did not expect to find it in great condition, but better than I did. There was a moderate amount of gunk in the bottom of the pan along with, I'm supposing everything that the coolant mix could have rinsed down there. The screen had quite a bit of (pardon the analogy) snotty goop on it, probably the result of mixing oil, water, and coolant then heating to 100+ degrees.
I cleaned everything out and put it all back together, put on another new filter and added fresh oil. I've had three oil changes in less than 10 miles, remarkable! Aside from finding a new small leak, which I'll look into right away, I didn't find anything externally amiss. I started her up with fingers crossed. The oil picked up right away and the oil pressure actually was above the 40psi mark for the first time since last winter. After about 5 mins. of running, I backed out of the drive and set out to test drive. 100 yards to the corner and the guage dropped to about 30 when I let off the gas pedal. It recovered nicely when I accelerated to turn and continue the test. Progressing through the gears kept the pressure respectably high but less than the solid 40 it was running before all the woes began. Once up to speed and not laboring the engine anymore the gage fell nearly to the red zone. The only saving grace to how its behaving now is that I'm getting response to laboring the engine. Accelerating will push the pressure up, when previously it wouldn't or it fell so low that shutting the motor off was the only valid option.
I'm guessing that what ever amount of sludge and old oil was originally forcing the pressure up and holding it has been washed out. The oil I put in the engine is 10W-30. I suppose now that the bottom end of my old girl is shot. Perhaps I'll throw in some thick oil treatment like engine honey or the like and see how she likes that.
Is the general guess here that she'* going to need main and rod bearings and an all out rebuild? I believe I am now past the point of diminishing returns. Its going to be a shame to send the new brakes and rotors, UIM, plugs, wires, and the other few hundreds of dollars in parts to the bone yard, but I'm thinking that'* where she'* headed.
I'm leaving Monday the 17th for a month long job. Hopefully when I return I will have enough $$ to exercise what ever option I need to. Input, suggestions and opinions are welcome. Thanks to all who have suffered through this one with me. Dang! Why does a Bonnie have to be such a likable vehicle?